With running, jumping, and throwing at their core, track and field sports are hugely popular with over 44 events in the Olympics alone! However, this does mean an inevitably long and detailed track and field equipment list to make sure that all events are safe, fun, and fully prepared.
The checklist below details all the track and field equipment needed for a summer of running, throwing, and jumping; from landing mats to drag brushes and from long jump pit covers to spike rollers. An often-overlooked addition to people’s checklists are groundskeeping tools and machines, the most important of which are detailed in the last section. These will ensure the health of not only the field itself, but also the athletic training equipment being used and the athletes taking part!
Here’s a handy checklist of track and field essentials!
Throwing is one of those events where people usually think of the item being used but not the accessories which complement the overall process. For example, weight carts and spot markers are affordable additions to any checklist, and you won’t regret investing in their convenience!
- Hammer, Discus, Javelin, and Shot Put: These are the four main throwing events in the Olympic games. Each type of throwable has its own requirements, which usually vary based on gender, and a range of weights, sizes, lengths, grips, colours, and so forth. Therefore, it’s important to consider your specific requirements before buying and that, where appropriate, a range of options are bought.
- Weight Cart: An often-overlooked piece of equipment, the weight cart is especially useful for education centres where many athletes will be throwing weights. The alternative is to waddle across the field carrying two shot puts, five javelins and four discuses… the choice is yours!
- Spot Markers: The last thing an athlete wants is to throw their javelin or shot put, only to realise that there is no way to mark their distance (other than using a sock or a shoe)! Coloured, plastic, non-slip spot markers are a great option, and they are the safest way to mark distances in a track and field setting.
Whilst it’s true that the only equipment needed by the runner is a pair of running shoes, most institutions like schools, colleges, universities, and sports centres require some essential athletic training equipment to ensure that everyone can run at their best.
- Spike Roller: Even though it may look like a medieval weapon, If your track is on natural turf the spike roller is crucial for a healthy running track. Because the soil becomes more compacted and hard as more people run on it, the spike roller is important as it relieves the compaction in the soil, making the grass healthier and more durable in the long run (excuse the pun)!
Hurdles. Not all running occurs on the flat there are lot of running events which require
different heights of hurdle.
Compared to previous decades, landing mats have become fairly versatile but there are a couple of differences that are important to understand before purchasing one.
- Types of mat: The two main types of mat are gymnastics mats and jumping landing areas. Gymnastic mats have less depth and provide a tougher and springier impact because they are focused on aesthetics and execution whereas landing areas cushion the athlete’s fall as a safety measure. Even though it would make for quite the sporting event, it isn’t recommended to mix these different types of mats!
- Vinyl-covered landing mats: These have a tougher, coarser texture which make them specifically good for pole-vaulting. Their texture will make them more durable to withstand the greater impact of pole vaulting and it also decreases the chances of puncturing the mat with the pole which wouldn’t be ideal!
Long Jump Equipment
Whilst the long- and triple- jump require more equipment than most other track and field events, this equipment is usually fairly inexpensive and Sportsmark has a selection of each to choose from.
Pit surrounds and run ups, Sportsmark can supply the rubber topped safety kerbs to form the pit and run up as the jump boards and trays required. If you need it installing, we can also build the pit and run up with a variety of surfaces from self-binding gravels to polymeric rubber.
- Sand: A necessity for the long- and triple-jump is a sand pit section for landing. This cheap requirement ensures the jumper’s safety and makes it easier to mark their distance. The best option to ensure that both of these are met is to use specific non marking jump pit sand which is cleaner and softer than most other types… but not as good for sandcastles.
- ‘No Jump’ Indicator Board: This is a fairly obvious necessity for the long jump to ensure uniformity. From simple wooden jump boards to
- Long Jump Pit Cover: The last thing you want when you come to perform your long- or triple-jump is animal droppings in the sandpit! Using a pit cover protects your sand from extreme weather and wildlife and will make your sand last longer, there are various types from simple vinyl sheets to purpose made wheelaway houses.
- Measuring Tape: Unless you’d like to ‘guesstimate’ jumping distances a measuring tape is a good option and fibreglass is the most durable option as it won’t rust and it’ll last longer than fabric tape.
High Jump Equipment
High jump equipment is fairly straightforward but there are a number of details which are often left out of the decision-making process like the importance of a flexibar.
- Stand: The high jump would be a very difficult event without a stand to hold the bar! Having a sturdy stand is important for both accurate measuring and athletic safety, so getting one with large under-mat feet will help by increasing its stability.
- Flexibar: It’s important to use a flexibar for jumping events primarily because these are much safer for the athlete. Due to their elastic qualities, the risk of injury is greatly reduced.
Perhaps the most important of all equipment, the groundsperson’s tools and equipment are crucial in ensuring the long-term health of your in field and the safety of everybody participating.
- Spreaders: Also known as ‘Broadcast Spreaders,’ these tools are a great way to fertilise your field in an efficient and consistent way. Larger, more expensive options will hold more fertiliser and have further spread, making them more suitable for larger fields. Importantly, the most appropriate option will ensure a healthier field over the long-term.
- Paint Applicator: The capacity and usability of paint applicators can vary hugely so it’s important to evaluate your requirements before purchasing. Thankfully, Sportsmark offers MARKING MACHINES from across the spectrum: from simple transfer wheel markers with a smaller capacity to four-wheeled spray machines with large tanks.
Get Your Athletic Training Equipment at SportsMark!
Given the sheer variety of running, throwing, and jumping events, all of which require a lot of equipment to complete as well as to maintain, it’s important that you understand what to buy in order to meet your requirements. To do this, use the above checklist to create a shopping list or to double-check that you have all the essentials you need.
Whether you need new equipment, be it for a school, college, university, or sports centre – or require equipment for personal use, Sportsmark has all the athletic training equipment you might need, from landing mats to long jump pit covers! Get in touch with us today for more information.